Judgement Day.

I was struck by this bit of Divine insight while journalling about my meditation today and thought it could be helpful to other creatives or just human beings:

When taking critiques of our work (whatever your work is) it might be helpful to think of yourself as being an observer from the inside of your house during a powerful storm. You see and hear things you think are “good”.  You see and hear things that you think are “bad” but overall you won’t be consumed by them.  When the “storm” is gone and the notes/recommendations are given. You allow yourself time to recover from what you heard and saw, then open the door, go outside, and start cleaning. Consider the notes/recommendations as you clean and hold on to those things that you feel in your gut to be truth of your work regardless of what the notes/recommendations are. Let go and follow the bits of advice you know to be true even when your ego is telling you otherwise.

All right.  I’m done channeling.  Happy working y’all.


Manifesting Destiny.

We’re about to go on a quick trip from attachment to detachment in one post.  Ready?  I’m not sure I am, but here we go.  Ever since I was … a zygote … I have lived and breathed for the approval of other people.  I have existed to make people proud of, in love with, or enamored of me.  It is an addiction that lives in a house in my chest with all my other addictions (active and otherwise).  I have fed these addictions with actions done in expectation of the reward, the pay off, the acceptance, not realizing that  it’s a temporary thing and soon … likely very soon after the pay off the other person will move on to the next thing.  The next focus. They will return home and feed their own gluttonous needs and wants.  When you are not serving up the soup of the day that their inner glutton craves, they move on, or worse, they get angry at you.  They may even hate you.  These little monsters are ravenous and they don’t have time for you if you’re not feeding them.

I know I’m rambling.  I didn’t say the ride would be easy or coherent for that matter.  So, this morning I got a phone call.  A simple enough phone call, it was my Mom, there’d been a miscommunication that was in the grand scheme of things pretty minor.  I was yelled at and as per usual accused of being selfish. This is a recurring theme in our relationship by the by, and part of the reason why no matter how successful I’ve been or may become why I find it so hard to enjoy.  My choice to be a writer the majority of the time has felt ephemeral, insubstantial, and extremely selfish.  There’s this little fucker that runs around in my head saying: “How dare you go around here pretending that living this dream is ok, living this life you’re living is fair to anyone else! How dare you be enjoying life on your terms, you selfish bitch!”  And I would gladly smother him with a pillow if I could find it in my constitution to consciously and subconsciously disagree with him consistently.  He’s my absorbed twin that never got to manifest in body. He has lived with me since I was that zygote.

If I am to have the life I want, and honest to God I can’t even figure out exactly what that is cause he won’t shut the fuck up, I have to abort.  I have to abort all people, places, things, thoughts, and ideologies that implant doubt in my ability to achieve anything an everything I want to believe in this life. Even if that means I have to create distance from those whom I love very much. And that hurts, it feels like a literal ripping apart of myself from myself.  The person I knew myself to be and the person I am becoming cannot live in the same place.  One must die for the other to live. Because it’s not about whether or not I’m a good or great writer. It’s about what I believe  myself to be, and I will never ever ever ever believe in myself if I continued to be caught up in the sub par desires and expectations others have for me.

I think we’re almost there. The twin wants to have a word to ensure that I don’t isolate people … always the worrier he is.

None of this is to say that I’m cutting people off or doing one of those obnoxious “Facebook cleansing” were I get rid of my haters/detractors.  I don’t think I’m that pretentious … yet. What I am purging is the value I’ve placed on people’s expectations of me and my limited thinking. The fear that I have of aspiring to whatever the fuck I want to because it seems some how “wrong” or unattainable,  is a cancer, and if I have to gut myself with knife and rip it out  along with every fucked up thing I was raised to believe or told to believe about myself I. Will. because goddam this is my life and I’ve only got one shot at it. It’s hard enough trying to be somebody without being simultaneous made to feel like the somebody you want to be is wrong or unfair to others.  Fuck that.  Yes, I do think I’m good enough to achieve any accolade you could name for my writing, but I won’t even have the capability to be in the running if I don’t cut all this self defeatist bullshit out of my life. And none of the accolades matter anyway if I’m not doing this for myself because I must, because it was implanted in me to be this person before I was a zygote. It’s my destiny. Yup, I’m over here manifesting destiny.  It’s harder than childbirth, but it is the only true freedom.

Ok, we’re here. I’m done. For now.



She wanna or In Trans-it

She wanna
Eat a man alive
Make him
On his
She wanna
unnavigable waters
She wanna
ramp wid him
inna rubba dub
She wann-
And her
In a list of lovers that he will
She says all this
With the
Of a sour straw gainst
Her tongue ring.
Sour seduction,
Lookin’ for trouble.
She gonna
Find IT.
If she wanna.

It’s Oscar season.

9/18/2013 I am not sure if I have ever been this moved to anger by anything.  I didn’t just see Oscar Grant on that screen.  I saw my brother, my nephews, [my ex-boyfriend], every black man that I have loved or thought to love.  My heart is broken into a million pieces about the cheapness of a black life.  It isn’t right.  It’s far from just and it was never meant for us … this American life.  It has served us in no tangible way.  We remain entangled, snared in our own weaknesses and short comings.  Constantly kicked in the stomach, but told to get up.  I am [resentful] at and for black men everywhere and I am choking on the words.  My fingers can’t write them and my mouth can’t speak them.  I am burning with anger.  God please help me find a way to express this to the goal of healing rather than self destruction.

I wrote that on the subway ride home the night after I’d seen Fruitvale Station.  I have not ever in my life reacted so strongly to a film.  From the opening scene, footage of the actual murder of Oscar Grant, to the last moments of the dramatic re-enactment on film I was destroyed.  I sobbed openly and out loud as if I’d seen my own son murdered. I exited the theatre and walked Third Avenue mad enough to strangle someone.  Not a White person, not the Police … anyone. Even the next morning, when I looked back on it, I still harbored residual anger.  How could any human life be so worthless? Why are incidents like this treated so nonchalantly?

These questions danced around in my head for the proceeding days. People were talking about this film everywhere.  I didn’t run across one person who’d seen it and not walked away feeling gut punched.  This is what I want my work as an artist to do, I thought, rattle the consciousness of people, and maybe … just maybe … affect change.  Surely, most people speculated, This film will do well in award season.  Even I, knowing better, allowed myself to dwell in the illusion that the power of this film and the issues it raises would have to be acknowledge by the artistic higher ups.

As we know, and should not be too shocked by, Fruitvale was summarily snubbed by the more illustrious award granting bodies (Oscars/Globes).  I could spend the remainder of this post bitching about that, citing my issues with films of inferior quality/content that were nominated, but I would be missing the point.  The lesson or I should say the reminder, at least for me,  is this: Film is film, a  subjective art form made by an endless variety of creators for an endless variety of reasons.  There are a million and two reasons why certain films, actors, and directors are (or are not) chosen for esteemed awards.  I’d lay the cost of my Tisch tuition on some of the reasons having little to do with the quality of the work. That’s neither here nor there.  What I need to remember is that if I choose to participate in this industry (and it is a choice) I must lay to the side any expectation of glory and tell stories because I want to or because on some cellular level I  need to.

Most of the time I try to tell stories that set me on fire. After all, I am a Black female writer and mother of a Black Son.  I am creating during Oscar season, and I speak not of the award, but a time when it appears to be open season on young Black Men like Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis … etc. etc. It is imperative that these stories are told and retold as America has a nasty tendency to forget what she looks like and needs to be reminded every now and again, by bold artist unthreatened by the withholding of “head-pats” and “atta-boys”. (See: Spike Lee)

Now, I know, every film can’t be Fruitvale or Milk or a political diatribe meant to raise awareness about x to y so that z can be forced to change its evil imperialist ways, nor should it be.  I mean where the fuck would I be without Pee Wee’s Big Adventure or Dumb and Dumber ( especially the scene where Jim Carey slaps dude in the legs with the cane)  to rescue me from the madhouse between my ears and the debacle of George Zimmerman’s budding art career.  What I do want us to remember as we huddle around the television and pick apart red carpet fashion do’s and don’t this evening is that film has greater power than any one evening of pomp and circumstance can contain.  It sent me out of a theatre a screaming crying mess ready to write all that was wrong with the world.    That’s great shit.


Broken Shelter

As I walked the two blocks I
Regularly walk
To catch the train to school.
I struggled with a
Wind broken umbrella
That I’d been holding on to
In case it rained.
It was this morning.
Raining that is.
One of those
fine annoying drizzles
Only enough to get you
Damp & frustrated.
I opened the
Broken bit of shelter
And became
As I fought to keep
The umbrella
Over my head and
The wind
Blowing up the flap
Of the broken side.
I slipped on old snow.
Nearly stepped in
Dog shit
And almost stumbled over a
plastic barrier
Before I realized that
The FUCKING umbrella
Was causing me
MORE distress
Than the
Piss Sprinkle of Rain
When I turned the corner on
I saw a
MoUnTaiNous pile of trash
And promptly
Threw that mothaphucka
On top.

Unrequired Love.


10:35 on a lonely Friday night. Why? Because stories about love have to begin with lonesomeness, that’s why. LOIS, lonely Lois, slightly older than 30, looks like’s she’s 40. Sits at a table for two in a Chinese restaurant that’s about the size of a closet in the east village. It is Valentine’s Day, and she’s trying really hard not to give a fuck. She busies herself with things she brought along to busy herself. In walks LESTER a strapping young man, of 39. He walks over to the counter and without waiting for anyone to show up he starts viciously ringing the bell on the counter. A young but tired looking Asian man named JIN walks out. He knows this fucker.

JIN:  Udon and ox tail.

LESTER:  Indeed.

Jin disappears to the back. Lester meanders around as if he hadn’t been there a thousand times. He decides on the seat directly by Lois at her table. He makes himself comfortable by moving her shit.

LOIS: There’s another table over there.

LESTER: I know.

Lester goes in his man bag and takes out a disreputable news paper. Probably the New York Post.

LOIS: So why don’t you go sit at it.

LESTER: Because I don’t want to.

Lois watches him read for a spell then …

LOIS: I don’t want any shit outta you. I know what this is. It’s Valentine’s day, we’re in this intimate place and you are trying to strike up some convo and maybe make some type of connection. Hell, maybe I’ll take you home and fuck you on the sofa real quiet like as to not wake Mother out of her opioid coma. You’ll make promises in hushed tones about calling me the following Friday only you won’t, I’ll have to spend the evening watching Wheel of Fortune with Mother and her group of degenerate Senior Citizens. So save your rap buddy. I don’t wish to connect with you or any one else with a penis or a vagina for that matter. I’d like it very much if you would take yourself and your trashy fucking newspaper and relocate to the table that is sitting in dire need of someone to occupy it.

Lester turns the page in his newspaper.

LOIS: Now!

Lester folds his paper up and sits it on his lap.

LESTER: I don’t want to. There is a large disgusting garbage can directly to the right of that table. The thought of a discarded bit of typhoid leaping from the trash in to my Udon is simply too much to bear. If you’d like, you can displace yourself over in yon sewer, but I, don’t intend to move.

Lester unfolds the paper as Jin arrives with Lois’s order. Jin, btw, does not have an obnoxious Asian accent. He was raised in East Orange, NJ.

JIN: Shrimp fried rice, with a side of tartar sauce. Enjoy. Let me know if you need anything else. Your udon will be out in a sec.

LESTER: Fantastic.

Lois organizes herself before she begins. This is pure OCD ritual. Fork cleaned and organized, rice arranged around the plate, shrimp plucked out and set neatly on the side, the whole nine. Lester lowers his paper and watches. He’s captivated by this shit and when she’s done, right before she takes the first bite …

LESTER: That’s why.

He lifts his paper again to read. Lois sits her fork down.

LOIS: That’s why … what? From behind the paper.

LESTER: You’re single.

Lois sits her fork down.

LOIS: Excuse me?

LESTER: I mean you’re not terrible looking, a little fleshy, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem for most men these days.

LOIS: You’re a real bastard. I suppose you know that though.

LESTER: I do, and I also know the reason why you’re single is your freakish habits.

LOIS: No freakier than you sitting down next to a complete stranger when it’s clear that they don’t want you there.

LESTER: Good. We’re both weirdos with freakish habits.

Jin enters. He sits Lester’s food down with far less costumer service zest he offers him not a damn thing else and is trying to walk away when.


JIN: Jin. My name is Jin.

LESTER: Right. Jin. Jin, can you please get me those nice plastic chopsticks that you have?

JIN: We’re out of them.

LESTER: Well that’s awful.

JIN: I guess so.

Jin attempts exit again.

LESTER: Jin, I’ll take a diet cola.

JIN: Sure.

Jin exits. Lester puts his paper away, grabs one of the napkins Jin gave him, places his hands in his lap on top of the napkin and watches Lois eat. Her eating is laced with as much ritual as the set up for her meal. This goes on until Lois chooses to notice him watching.

LOIS: Fuck off.

LESTER: Language.

LOIS: Move then.

LESTER: We both know I’m not.

Jin comes back out.

JIN: We’re actually out of diet cola.

LESTER: Really? That’s unfortunate. Water will do then. Bottled water.

Jin exits again.

LOIS: What do you do?

LESTER: I do a lot of things.

LOIS: Your work.

LESTER: I’m independently wealthy. I don’t work. My job is to observe and participate in life.

LOIS: Hmn.


LOIS: Yes … Hmn.

LESTER: My name is Lester … should you care to know.

LOIS: I shouldn’t. I could have died without knowing actually.

LESTER: And you are?

LOIS: None of your business.

LESTER: Suit yourself.

Jin comes out and sits a bottle of water on the table.

JIN: Are you still working on that?

Lois looks down at the plate of neatly dissected food and decides she wants to go a couple more rounds.

LOIS: I am.

Jin exits then re-enters.

JIN: Oh, we’re gonna be closing in the next 10 minutes. Don’t rush, but I’m just gonna be locking the door then … the holiday.

Jin doesn’t wait for a reaction, he’s out.

LESTER: It’s funny what constitutes a holiday for some people.

LOIS: I told you, no Valentines Day talk. If you’re looking to “hook up”.

LESTER: Madame, even if I wanted to hook up, you would be the last person on earth that would happen with.

LOIS: Gee thanks.

LESTER: This is not to insult you it’s just that I’m a homosexual and therefore have no interest in you sexually, although I do find your meticulous habits fascinating.

Lester finally starts to eat.

LOIS: You’re queer?

LESTER: No, I’m a homosexual.

LOIS: There’s a difference?

LESTER: There is for me. Being homosexual means that when I am sexually aroused there is a 99.9% chance that attraction to a man caused it. Queer is an identity, a political one used to seek a certain status within society. All the labels are Black, White …, I choose to not identify in that way. I seek no level of status in society. I choose to merely exist. Exist and observe.

LOIS: Aren’t you fancy.

LESTER: No, but I am at peace which is more than I can say for you. I’m not the one sitting in a hole in the wall Chinese joint on Valentine’s Day night trying to forget the fact that there’s no one who is going to have meaningless sex with me and give me a card.

LOIS: But you’re here, just as here as me. Why come out at all on a Valentine’s day night? Why not order in and find a hot twink on Grinder.

Lester pushes out a minor giggle.

LESTER: Where do you get this stuff, reality television?

LOIS: I have gay friends, I know how this works.

LESTER: I don’t dabble in Grinders or twinks. I am for lack of better wording asexual. Anal sex is a messy affair that I want nothing to do with, and love is far worse than that. A human being needs only food and shelter to survive. Nature vs. Nurture is a myth.

LOIS: And this is why you’re single.

LESTER: By choice. By a very deliberate choice. One I don’t think you’re making right now. You have friends? Why aren’t you out with them empowering your singleness.

Lois drops her gaze. You already know what it is.

LESTER:  They’re all out on dates aren’t they?

Lois sits down her fork, picks up her purse.

LOIS: Sir!? Jin!?

LESTER: I’m not picking on you.

LOIS: Of course you’re not. Jin enters.

Lois fumbles through her bag and reaches a credit card to Jin. In her haste, she drops it. Lester picks it up, looks at it and hands it to Jin.

LESTER: Lois. That’s an interesting name.

LOIS: Are you gonna tell me that’s the other reason why I’m single?

LESTER: No, I’m not. Actually I was going to tell you that there is no need to feel … down or anything about today or any of supposed things that are supposed to go along with it.

LOIS: You’re just on top of it all aren’t you? You float just above the level of feeling and look down on those who have the audacity to want anything. Like your ability to “choose” to be and stay single is something that makes you a superior breed of human. You’re just a pathetic as I am only you don’t know it. The day will come when you are old and all you will want is someone to hold your hand while you’re dying. Not only will you not have someone to hold your hand, you won’t so much as have a name to call out when you draw your last breath. I’d rather be in shitty relationships for all eternity than to be like you …

Jin enters with her credit card receipt. Lois signs it with the quickness.

LOIS:  … at least  I’m alive.  At least I’m living.

Lois slams all her shit in her bag and heads out the door. Lester watches. A long while passes as he pics over then abandons his food. Jin enters.

JIN: I need to … I need to ring you up. I gotta get out of here.

LESTER: I see.

JIN: Uh … You want a box?

LESTER: No. No, I’m good.

Lester goes in his wallet and leaves exact change on the table. Jin disposes of his plate and disappears to the back. Lester rises and stares through the front door of the shop. Jin comes back out with a dozen roses and a gift bag.

JIN: I’ll … I’ll be here later tomorrow. It’s just today —

LESTER: I understand.

There’s an awkward moment when Jin does everything but tell Lester to get the fuck out.

LESTER: I understand.

Lester steps out and takes off to the left. Jin heads off in the opposite direction.


My Grandpa: The Vetting Process

My Grandpa was not a perfect man.  He left my grandmother with a daughter to raise. He inconsistently kept up with his established family afterwards, and he was fiscally irresponsible. Despite all this, my grandfather remains one of my favorite people of memory. Maybe it was  because of the mystique of his strong silent demeanor. As a child, even when I was sitting right next to him, I found myself wondering who he was, but never quite found the courage to ask.  I knew the basics, he was a World War II vet, he’d received a purple heart for being injured in combat. This injury was evidenced by the pins and screws in his leg (an injury which I now, coincidentally, have in common with him). He never drank (at least not that I can remember). He had an affinity for baked goods, The Peanuts, photography (of the living and the dead) and Cadillacs. Oh, and he played the clarinet which he got to do with Benny Goodman one time, per my Nana.

Whenever he’d surface for one of his impromptu visits it was like the Red Sea of my normal existence had been parted and I’d been liberated to a land of endless McDonald’s and paint by numbers kits.  Grandpa never seemed as entrenched by his existence as the other adults in my life. This alone made him a living wonder in my eyes.  When he wasn’t around, I always pictured him cruising around in his latest Caddy listening to Stacy Lattisaw. This was the internal image of him that endured through my childhood.  As I got older and sought out people to blame for my fuckupedness, my thoughts went back to my Grandpa and my questions became more complex.

Why did he leave? If he played the clarinet and loved photography, was he an artist? If he was an artist, why didn’t he chose to make that his life?  Question after, question came until I stumbled upon a theory, contrived though it may be:  My Grandpa was a suppressed artist.  He was suppressed by himself and the world he lived in.  I mean, picture it, The United States of America circa 1945-46.  You’re a black WWII veteran coming home to a country that you’ve fought for believing that your service in war would equal greater peace at home. You find out not only is that a lie, but the divides within the country have grown deeper.  You’re on the wrong side of a battle for civil rights that’s on the horizon while all that swims around in your head is the expanded view of the world you got to taste while you were living abroad. The disappointment is heartbreaking, but there is no time to stew in. Real life responsibilities; a wife,  a child, and the pursuit of an American Dream that cannot be achieved are constantly beckoning with needs that keep you up at night.

Maybe my Grandpa felt there was no time or little opportunity to explore his creative side?  Maybe he didn’t even know he was an artist. The questions always seem to lead to more questions, but in the pursuit of answers I find myself that much more closely bonded to who my Grandpa might have been. Please, don’t think I write this to provide excuses or make apologies for Grandpa’s behaviors but rather to try to get a better understanding of who he was that I might get a better understanding of who I am. And I am very much my Grandpa’s granddaughter.  I struggle with many of the same issues plus some whole new shit of my own invention. The awareness and nurturing of my creative side is the slight advantage I have. I hold on to it for dear life and strive to be the artist that my Grandpa and all my other unannounced artist ancestors never got to be.

Happy Veteran’s Day Grandpa – ❤ Junebug 

Private John Milton McCall

Private John Milton McCall

Right? Write.

My time at Tisch and NYC in general, thus far has lead me to some realizations, startling and otherwise. Once the apartment hunting was done (The Bronx … who knew), the classes were paid for, and the first day had, it dawned on me that I had in no real way prepared for getting what I wanted. That’s right, I’d thrown so much energy into the fight to get here that I’d invested essentially none on what I would do once I was doing what I came here to do.  Hence, I have  spent the last four weeks flopping around like an epileptic at a performance of River Dance (I’m sorry, that was horrible). Moving on.

The first startling realization was that I was the only Black one in my graduating class. (Ok, so it wasn’t that startling. I sat down the first day, looked around, I was it.) I spent the first week and a half feeling like I, as one of my friends so aptly put it ,”the future of Black playwriting was on my shoulders.” This thought served to simultaneously stroke my ego; as I pictured myself doing battle with a hyper-villainous Tyler Perry driving my mighty quill through  his coonish heart, and scare the beloved shit outta me.  “Everything I say has to be so carefully laid out, my message clear and concise.  It’s so important.”  I thought as I lay around and wrote not a fuckin’ THING. I was stuck. This lead me to my second startling realization.

I had no CLUE what I wanted to write about.  I had a million lofty ideas that seem to do nothing but dance around in my skull 24hrs a day when was in Charlotte. In New York, I dunno, I think they were chased out by the sounds of trains, screaming vagrants, and  cholo cart bells (alas coconut icee, I shall miss you this winter).  The scrap of sanity I felt I had left lead me to seek refuge in my usual avenues. I met good people, did grounding things, got sound advice, and pulled my head just far enough out of my ass to have a moment of clarity which lead me to my third realization (or I should say re-realization because it always comes back to this for me).

Nobody gives a shit. I don’t mean this in that too-cool-for-school Bronx Tale kinda way, but rather people are far too busy worrying about their own real lives  to give a shit about whether I can generate words for this outrageously expensive graduate program I chose to attend.  This is my “dream car”.  I have to drive it.  I have to provide the fuel that determines the type of exhaust I put out. I use regular gas. I’mma get regular assed exhaust, the kind people choke on and does the world little good. However, if I use the brain between my ears and keep the pen moving in my hand, I might be able to produce something I can be proud of whatever or whoever it’s about.*

The ideas have slowly but surely began to repopulate. This New York life has started to feel more like mine despite the people and places I miss back in Charlotte.  I can make a go of this I think. Right? Write.


*where the hell did that car analogy come from tho?

You Are Here: The Summer of My Discontent

For the last week or so I’ve been letting it all soak in (that and panicking over whether or not I’d receive a Grad Plus Loan). After nearly two years of highs, lows, breakthroughs and disappointments I am now poised to take my seat in one of the most prestigious MFA programs for dramatic writing in the world. Any doubts that I had about deserving to be here have been obliterated. Fuck. That. I’ve worked my ass off, paid dues, took praises, and people’s  slick shit talkin’. So why do I still feel like a pimply faced 16 year-old most of the time? As the old adage goes: No matter where you go there you are.

One truth that my experience thus far has drilled into me is human nature’s constant state of flux.  The irony is we seem to be born equipped to detest even the slightest changes and will often do the strangest things, e.g. self sabotaging (my go to strategy btw), to avoid it. I at times literally have to be dragged kicking and screaming into transition. Sometimes I’ll put a toe in the pool of transition only to have Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed shove me, lovingly, all the way in.

And shoved I was this summer. Nothing, and I do me NO. THING. Has been constant since I’ve left the safety of my job, family, and friends in sunny Charlotte, NC.  I have been living a little of everywhere.  I have been jobless since July 20th. Now … in the grand scheme of joblessness, I know this is no major deal but going from knowing exactly where your next dollar is coming from for fourteen years to not knowing when the hell I’m ever gonna work again, for me is terrifying. Calculate in my baseline fear that this shit was gonna fall apart in any second and I would be headed back to Charlotte with my tail tucked firmly between my legs, and it seems that I should very well be a basket case. These are the times that I give thanks for my grounding practices.

Recovery, yoga, meditation, great friends, supportive family, arts, and culture have collectively saved my life this summer. The abundance of it to be found for free is proof for me that the universe wants to love us through the changes that we will inevitably go through no matter what we have or don’t have. More often than not this summer I’ve felt like the kid who’d ventured out to the middle of the monkey bars and lost faith that he could get to the other side. Then I’d call or text someone and find the courage to extend my hand to the next bar.  I got my heart broken. I headed to a meeting, and was off swinging again. My job hunt was essentially fruitless. I dangled wanting very badly to let go, but then I go to yoga and listen while Amy (the most amazing yogi I’ve met thus far) tells me to “root my tree”  and just like that, I am here,  on the other side of the monkey bar … only to realize that there is a playground called life that’s full of them.

The gift of my summer of discontent is my enhanced ability to thrive through unpredictability. Finding peace within while my clothes are scattered to the four corners of Newark, centering when in the midst of the realization that I may not accomplish what I came all this way to do, and taking the next required action with my hands shaking and the tears falling has served to make me ready for whatever is next. Even if I’m not, I know help is available for the Bible, Quran, Yoga Vedas, Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, and my Momma tell me so.



Having A Moment: The Unsolicited Blessing

The Unsolicited Blessing

witnessed by Stacey Rose

An act in one play.

Personae Dramatae:


Little Girl

First Lady of the Church of Self Righteousness Assumption


Osborne Terrace, Newark, NJ (Outside Newark Beth Israel Hospital)


Early Evening

(A braless young MOTHER no older than 23 labors her way down Osborne Terrace toward Newark Beth Israel Hospital.  Her face is the struggle. At her hand is a tiny LITTLE GIRL, no older than two.  They both have braid extensions that look to have been in about a month too long. They are, to be sure, clean. Their clothing, however, seems to have come from the nearest five and dime. The little girl’s sundress is too large. The straps are continuously falling off her shoulders. Mother’s top is being stretch to it’s ultimate tolerance with the swelling of her expectant belly. Enter coming from the opposite direction THE FIRST LADY OF THE CHURCH OF SELF RIGHTEOUS ASSUMPTION. She is a petite feminine woman.  Her hair is cut in a smart cropped salt and pepper natural. Her clothing and accessories are the epitome of class and style. If one were to drift closer one would probably catch the aroma of an expensive Eau de toilette likely purchased at the nearest Lord and Taylor on credit. The three intersect. )

First Lady: Look at you!

Mother:  Hi.

First Lady: Awww she’s adorable!

 Mother:  Thank you.

First Lady: Heyyyy Baaaaby!

Little Girl: –

First Lady: How old is she?!

Mother: Two.

First Lady: Oh my god! And you’re  already having another one?! Ain’t that somethin’?

Mother: –

First Lady: Where’s your daddy at baby?

Little Girl: –

Mother: At work. He at work.


First Lady: … oh. okay. okay.

(The first lady takes her hands and places them on the mother’s belly and begins to pray and unintelligible prayer. She moves her hands on to the little girl’s forehead and concludes the prayer.)

First Lady:  Alright now. Y’all have a blessed day.

Mother: You too.

Little Girl: –

(Mother and little girl head in the opposite direction of The First Lady down Osborne Terrace. They may never  see each other again.  Amen.)